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PRE-RELEASE AND REENTRY SERVICES

DIVISION

COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES


February 15, 2007

Committee Members and Guests Attendance: Amy Bransford, Parole and Probation; Patricia Braun, PRRS Program Section; Rev. Michael Bryant, Archdiocese of Washington; Cherise Burdeen, Consultant; Thomas DeGonia, State's Attorneys Office; John Lavigne, Public Defenders' Office; Stefan LoBuglio, PRRS Division Chief;Shaunda Legg, PRRS Case Manager; Sharon London, Coalition for the Homeless; Debra Lyons-Prince, PRRS Community Release Coordinator; Don Martin, Health and Human Services;Kent Mason, Community Member; James Shannon, PRRS Unit IV Manager; Teresa Still, PRRS Assessment Services Manager

Agenda:

1.Welcome and Introductions:John Lavigne, Chairperson

2.PRRS Chief's Report:Stefan LoBuglio

3.Housing Reentry Issues and Practices

4.Community Advisory Board Strategic Planning Report

5.Future 2007 Meetings

6.Adjournment


Agenda Item No 1- Welcome and Introductions: Chairperson John Lavigne called the meeting to order at 7:35 A.M. The Committee members and guests introduced themselves.

Agenda Item No. 2 - PRRS Division Chief's Report: Chief Stefan LoBugliopresented the "Chief's Report"  that provided an update on PRRS activities and developments since the last Community Advisory Board Meeting on December 8th.The report is attached.He highlighted the following issues:

  • Unit I is now fully operational as a female unit within the Pre-Release Center;
  • PRRS can now screen and place individuals who are within one year of release into the program;
  • PRRS has introduced a new Cognitive Skills Behavioral program for selected residents;
  • PRRS convened a research study group to review methodologies for measuring recidivism rates, and will present a report to the County Council on March 22nd;
  • PRRS is introducing two new policies and procedures on victim contact and restitution in order to improve its capability of addressing the needs of victims of crimes;
  • PRRS has enhanced the security of the Pre-Release Center by installing a new video surveillance system and a perimeter fence


In addition to the narrative report, Chief LoBuglio also provided the first draft of a planned regular monthly statistical report of performance measures at PRRS.Developed by Screening and Assessment Manager Teresa Still, the report provides information on the number and type of individuals entering PRRS programs, as well as offering performance summaries on those exiting the program each month.Several meeting participants suggested adding information on the performance of individuals who have been released from the program two or three months out with regard to their housing and their employment status.Also, there was interest in knowing the number of PRRS releasees who were subsequently supervised by parole and probation.

Agenda Item No. 3 - Housing Reentry Issues and Practices

Case Manager Shaunda Legg provided an overview of how PRRS staff assist residents with post-release housing.In preparation for the meeting, she had discussed this issue with her fellow Case Managers and found that most residents do identify a family member with whom they plan to live, typically a mother or sibling, but that these often are temporary arrangements.She added that residents may identify housing through contacts at AA or through listings in local papers for basement apartments in private dwellings, and explained that apartment complexes routinely conduct criminal background checks and credit checks, and these often serve as barriers for PRRS residents.Finally, she mentioned that Case Managers utilize county and federal 'Section 8' type voucher programs where appropriate and feasible.Community Release Coordinator Patricia Braun added that many residents really need further treatment and should consider structured housing such as provided by Oxford Houses, but often will resist this type of environment which does involve regular drug and alcohol testing.

Sharon London, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, spoke about the County's ten-year plan to end homelessness which was passed by the County Council in 2002.It was one of the first plans in the country to create this goal, and it has helped spur the development of thousands of units of affordable housing in the county.She mentioned that a significant percentage of those in shelters have criminal histories, and that this is a population that needs intensive services.Finally, Ms. London noted that despite the progress, there is still a significant need for more long-term, stable housing for homeless individuals and families in the county.


Agenda Item No. 4 - Community Advisory Board Strategic PlanningSession:

Chairperson John Lavigne provided an overview of the Community Advisory Board's Strategic Planning Session held on January 12th that involved 15 participants, and that was facilitated by Consultant and Community Advisory Board member Cherise Burdeen.The goal of the session was to identify ways to expand and strengthen the board particularly in light of two significant challenges facing the PRRS program:the planned transformation and urbanization of the area surrounding the Pre-ReleaseCenter in the next decade and significant changes in the characteristics of individuals entering the PRRS program.Ms. Burdeen provided a written summary of the meeting, which is attached.

During the planning session, several actions items were identified as needing further discussion at the next Community Advisory Board meeting.The first item concerned a proposal to include one or more former PRRS participants on the Community Advisory Board.Several Community Advisory Board members expressed strong support for this idea, and mentioned that they could provide an important and unique perspective about the PRRS program.The second items concerned a proposal to create subcommittees to allow board members to more directly support PRRS.The identified subcommittees were membership, community education and outreach, and research.After some discussion, the CAB members voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, and tasked Chief LoBuglio to send out e-mails soliciting members for these subcommittees.It was also suggested that members of the subcommittees meet before the next CAB meeting, and that as part of this meeting, they might conduct a focus group with PRRS residents.


Agenda Item No. 5 - Meeting Dates for 2007:

  • Thursday, May 24th @ 7:30 am
  • Thursday, September 27th @ 7:30 am
  • Thursday, December 6th @ 7:30 am


Agenda Item No. 6 - Adjournment:9:00 A.M
 

Chief's Report

Performance Indicators 2006

Strategic Planning Report

 

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